Katherine Feinstein set to leave San Francisco Superior Court post

San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein has announced that she is retiring from the bench.

Feinstein, 55, the daughter of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has served as a judge with the court for more than 12 years, and for the past two she has served as  presiding judge. Her retirement is effective Feb. 1, court officials said.

“As I near the end of my two-year term as presiding judge, now is a good time for a transition,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I have no specific plans. However, I look forward to serving the public, as I have throughout my legal career, but in a new and different capacity.”

She was appointed to the court by then-Gov. Gray Davis in 2000.

Previously, Feinstein worked as a deputy city attorney and also has experience as an assistant district attorney and member of a private law firm. She is a former San Francisco police commissioner and has served as director of the Criminal Justice Council in the Mayor’s Office.

Judge Cynthia Ming-mei Lee, whose two-year term as presiding judge will begin Jan. 1, said of Feinstein, “She led our court during financially turbulent times and did so with unswerving courage, dignity and dedication.”

Police Chief Greg Suhr said Feinstein “has always been there at every turn to make The City a better, safer place through her caring for the less fortunate who can’t care for themselves. She is just the most gracious of ladies and the city of San Francisco will miss her.”

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